Building IT talent from the ground up

Sheila Lam

"I believe IT is still a good choice," said Cheng. "There are many employers looking for tech pros and the pay isn't bad. If starting a business is your goal, there are still opportunities for those who are innovative and hardworking."

According to Cheng, as his business has become more stable, he can rely less on customer projects and focus more on developing new products.

Asked why he chose to run his own company instead of joining someone else's, Cheng said he's interested in tech and wants tech to be a core business. "If I work for a non-tech company as a tech person, what I do isn't core business," he noted. "Besides I want to develop a product I envision--I can't do this if I work for a tech vendor."

Learn beyond classrooms

Cheng added that he learnt a lot more about programming by self-study than at school. "In school I learnt about the theoretical side of development, which I find useful," he said. "Tech pros interested in R&D must spend lots of time learning [programming languages] by themselves rather than relying solely on classroom training."

Echoing Cheng's view on self-learning, Wong said that IT benefits different industries, helps improve productivity, and allows better collaboration.

IT related disciplines

According to Wong, he started to use computers when he was in kindergarten and learn about programming when he was in Primary Five.

But he didn't major in any-IT related disciplines when he was a university student. "My major was economics because I took my parents' advice to learn more about non-tech stuff," said Wong. "I was a part-time programmer [during my university years]. Some of the projects I worked on include intranet building and an environment-assessment system for the MTR."

Wong is also interested in medical IT. "I don't have any concrete plans yet, but I want to do a degree in medicine and see how technologies can help healthcare pros enhance their work."

--By Teresa Leung

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